In a recent newspaper interview with renowned Buddhist scholar Robert Thurman, about the restitution of Nalanda, the 5th century Buddhist University in India, the journalist comments: “But Buddhism has practically vanished from India and emerging India may have little interest in the values you talk about.”
Thurman responds to that with:
[So] What is emerging India going to contribute to the world? Just compete with China to make more cheap goods and take away more jobs from industrialized and unionized countries, and pollute themselves?
He had my attention there for a split second. And then he spoilt it. He responded in a way, that I’ve heard so many westerners respond to India, sort of in a patronizing way. The way you talk to rowdy children, when you want to encourage them to stop doing what they are doing, and do the right thing. (more…)
Posted by Rita Banerji on May 17, 2011
Last night, on the T.V., I was amused to see Canadian singer, Celine Dion facing what appeared to be a party of Chinese big-wigs: politicians and businessmen.
One of politicians commented on the fact that her songs were all about aspirations, dreams and the power of love. So he suggested that she speak a bit on China in relationship to the world, and how the country figures in context of aspirations and power. The message couldn’t be any clearer! “The whole world knows that China is the world’s upcoming super-power!” is what I expected Celine’s lovely soprano voice to announce. Instead she looked like she had unexpectedly encountered a mugger in a dark, and lonely alley. She kept repeating that she didn’t understand what they wanted her to say. I thought – Clever ploy Ms. Dion, but how much time are you going to buy with this?
Then in a desperate voice she repeated over and over (more…)
Posted by Rita Banerji on March 26, 2011